The Fugees - "Ready Or Not"
"I refugee from Guantanamo Bay / Dance around the border like I'm Cassius Clay (Pras)"
A classic track from a classic album, with props to The Greatest. The song is weighty, and honors the plight of refugees seeking asylumin the States. We all know Muhammad Ali himself was persecuted in the 60's, andthe lyric points to the tireless boxer's relentlessness as a comparison for thehard times refugees go through. The song is actually eerily relevant today.
50 Cent - "Put Your Hands Up"
"Paparaz' photo, myside bitch in Manolo / It's all about dough though, my knuckle game like Cotto."
Fiddy threatens to knock you out Miguel Cotto-style if you snap a picture of him and his piece wearing her Blahniks. Below the belt?
Pictured: Mortal Enemies Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto.
Canibus - Second Round K.O.
"Yo Canibus man, you moving like Mike Tyson Jr., man / You in-and-out and you're agile with your flow man."
Canibus rapping about how he eats MC's for breakfast to help him throw a couple punches. Mike Tyson gives Canibus career advice. By the end of the track, the referee calls Canibus the "new lyrical weight champion" and Iron Mike is giving him props about his agility. Spot the irony!
Ill Bill &Vinnie Paz – "Devil’s Rebel"
"I ain’t fucking with small shit, only thorough heaters/ The ice grill get you robbed, Sergio Martinez (Vinnie Paz)."
Clinton was awarded a win against Martinez in 2008, but most felt Martinez got robbed of a victory, as he'd outplayed Clinton.
Vinnie's heads-up is a little tardy.
"Watch me shoot to the bank, I'm a money pistol / Weezy beat the beat up like Sonny Liston."
Liston was feared for his strength, and Lil Wayne's lyrical proficiency will undoubtedly trump anyone else's (so he says).
Pictured: Post-Match: Mayweather Vs. Cotto - Lil Wayne (looking happier than ever), Floyd Mayweather, 50 Cent.
Pusha T - "Can I Live (Freestyle)"
"Three bitches, three different flights, glad it was four sides at that Paul Williams fight / The Wynn,The Bellagio, the Palms, three nights / As long as they separated, they my three blind mice.”
Pusha T is one lucky guy. He got to watch the Paul Williams vs. Winky Wright bout in Vegas from every side of the ring, accompanied by three girls who had no idea the other two were there. Masterful playin'.
Lloyd Banks -"Playboy"
"So tell your homey chill, you know I hold the steel / Everything ain't jabs and hooks, and you ain't Holyfield"
If you were up against Lloyd Banks , you couldn't take hits like Holyfield.
French Montana feat. Rick Ross - "Shot Caller"
"Top down, praying to my Lord and Savior/ We on the floor, Pacquiao the world's greatest (Rick Ross) "
Rick Ross equates his gratefulness with Pacquiao's pre-match prayer ritual.
The Cool Kids - "Delivery Man"
"I'm Sugar Ray Leonard to them boxers / Watch me not watch them, I'm like clockwork"
Sugar Ray Leonard commanded respect. The Cool Kids might not be quite there yet.
Nipsey Hussle - "Rose Clique"
"I'm the greatest of all time / like young Ali played Mohammad to these thoughts"
One does not simply become the greatest by claiming to be the greatest (though admittedly, it might've worked for Ali).
Drake feat. Jay-Z - "Light Up"
"I just landed in that G450. Caught the Mayweather fight cause the satellite was crispy (Jay-Z)"
I would like Jay-Z's life, please.
Game - "Scream On Em"
"I summons the hood, they get up in yo' ass for real / Knockout flow, Winky Wright jab for real"
Winky Wright made a name for himself in the early 90's by winning 51 out of 57 matches, with 25 knockouts. I wouldn't stand in his way. Nor Game's, for that matter.
Rick Ross - "High Definition"
"Crucifix on my neck, I pray it never melt / Pacquiao purse, boy I took another belt"
Hey Rozay, we spot a pattern! A purse is a boxer's pay. Ross is referring to Pacquiao's numerous championship titles. In other words, Rick Ross is gettin' paid.
"Just like Muhummad Ali they called him Cassius / Watch me bash this beat like a skull / Cause you know I had beef wit / Why do you riff with me, the maniac psycho."
Not to be excluded from our list, LL Cool J ushered in this song in 1990. A classic and undoubtedly one of the most recognized boxing related songs ever. And by his appearance, over 20 years later, LL still looks like he could get it done.
Whether referencing boxing in their lyrics, or literally contemplating stepping into the ring (50 Cent, Cassidy, Drake vs Chris Brown?), lyrical ferocity and physical ferocity seem to be highly compatible. Here's a look at over a dozen rap songs, highlighting Hip Hop's love of boxing.
The "feud" between 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather a couple weeks back got us thinking about the long-standing love affair between rappers and boxers. Both require a tremendous amount of skill, and both camps have made sincere, desperate, and hilarious attempts at paying homage to one another.
Boxers have made their attempts at rap (Roy Jones Jr.'s "Y'all Must Have Forgot," Mayweather's "Yep"), and rappers thrown some punches (Cassidy challenging pretty much any rapper to a boxing match - not to be confused with him accepting Meek Mill's challenge to a rap battle), in the hopes that the hilarity will come off as an homage. We came up with over a dozen boxing references in rap, ranging from obscure to full-on ridiculous. Take a gander.